Struggling with anger - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 08-18-2005, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope this is the right place to post this.

I am currently trying to keep my cool and doing a terrible job. Neither of my children are sleeping much right now, the both are completely ignoring everything I'm saying. Ifeel like I'm being terrible Mother. I have no patience and sometimes grit my teeth so hard it hurts.
I have never hit my children, I'm confidant I never will, but I'm loosing my cool a lot right now and hate seeing the look on their faces.

I don't want to be this mother, I want to be ever patient and loving. I am finding this extremely unsettling. I know they are only little once and I am trying to enjoy every minute of it.

How does everyone else deal with anger? Oh God I hope I'm not the only one.

I am trying to find peace in my head and can't, I just want half an hour of peace and cant get it. I know this time will pass but I just needed to get it out.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Lisa: Homeschooling Mum of ds, 8 and dd, 6
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#2 of 21 Old 08-18-2005, 03:27 PM
 
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I have been having a lot of the same issues. I found a great website http:members.aol.com/AngriesOut/idex.htm It has things for adults and kids as well. It talks a lot on how to deal before you hit that angry place. Try to remember that no one is always patient. You are working hard to be the best mama you can be.
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#3 of 21 Old 08-18-2005, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks j942,

I tried to get on that site, but it said it couldn't find the page. I will do some searching though.

I feel so much better now - went for a big angry walk which got a lot of it out. I just want it to go away.

Lisa: Homeschooling Mum of ds, 8 and dd, 6
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#4 of 21 Old 08-24-2005, 12:46 AM
 
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Hi Lisa,
I read your post and sympathized. I have been terribly angry and irritable lately. I think for me it is part of being anxious a lot--I tend to worry too much about things.
To get to the point, I wanted to recommend a wonderful book that is helping me so much, When Anger Hurts Your Kids. There are writing exercises in the book, very clear descriptions of kids' developmental stages, descriptions of "trigger thoughts" that lead to angry outbursts, and best of all, strategies for dealing with anger.
One key perspective I have taken away from this book is that just because I am angry, I don't need to express that to my son in a negative way. It has been really enlightening for me. This book has really helped me be aware of what I am thinking when I am angry, without acting on it. It has helped me more than therapy has.
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#5 of 21 Old 08-24-2005, 01:01 AM
 
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I can totally understand where you are coming from. It's definitely a daily struggle here. I know I won't hit them, but it's the yelling that gets me. To make things worse my 8 yr old is becoming a yeller. He yells at his little brother over silly things. I know it's my fault, so I have to get it in control at least for his sake. This is something really great to read when you feel the anger coming on..http://www.askdrsears.com/html/6/T061800.asp.
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#6 of 21 Old 08-25-2005, 11:19 PM
 
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mama!!

i struggle with anger issues too. a lot of mine is directed towards my dh (much of it undeserved) and my dog also gets the brunt of it. for the most part i am able to hold it together with dd (barely sometimes).

i recently started working with a homeopath and that is helping a lot. i also read (and am re-reading) the book everyday blessings: the inner work of mindful parenting. it has been helpful for me to try to stay present and to name my feelings.

like today as i was trying to get out the door...arms overloaded...dd needs help getting down the step....the dog thinks he's going for the ride (which he's not) and barrels out the door knocking dd over.

i start under my breath and then realize....

i'm frustrated.

i tried to get out the door with too many things in my hands.

dd needs my help.

the dog is just being a dog.

i need to take a breath.

i put my stuff down. pick up dd. comfort her. apologize to the dog. breathe some more. and then we are on our way.

previously a scenerio like that would have set off a big chain reaction for me where my anger would really escalate and the whole day would end up being a "bad day". so although i still struggle with it....i feel like it's getting a little better.

hang in there mama....and breathe!!!! you are not alone.

~Erin
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#7 of 21 Old 08-26-2005, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow...thanks mamas!

I'm going to find both reccommended books. Thanks for all the info and stories.
I still am getting angry and gritty but am more aware of what is happening and am doing a little better at keeping it under control.


Now to breathing.........

Lisa: Homeschooling Mum of ds, 8 and dd, 6
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#8 of 21 Old 09-06-2005, 02:23 AM
 
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Hi Lisa72.

Good on you for writing in and asking about anger. Anger is not an easy thing to admit to and figuring out a way to control it is half of it I always say.
Here is what helped me soooooooooo much. Check out this website. I think you will really like it.

http://www.naturalchild.org/articles/

Even though there is nothing specifically on anger, you will find it talks much about why children do what they do and how to work with them in a respectful conscience way. See if it helps.
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#9 of 21 Old 09-06-2005, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi simple living mama

Thanks for that website, I actually had been on it ages ago and lost it...so glad to have found it again.

since I've admitted that I am sometimes angry, it has seemed to really help. Maybe thats half the battle?

Lisa: Homeschooling Mum of ds, 8 and dd, 6
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#10 of 21 Old 09-06-2005, 10:44 AM
 
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I know how you feel. I feel so on the edge when I haven't slept much. You and the kids both need sleep. Easy said than done - but try to get them as worn out as possible before bed. Outside play seems to be the best. I notice that TV only makes them sleep less and more wound up. We have been going to the park in the early evening (before dinner), eating dinner around 7:30, then in bed by 8. It has worked so far. Also - do only water for drinking after 5:00 p.m. - fruit juice and milk makes mine more active (even the natural sugars can be stimulating). Who knows if this will work for your kids, but here the outside playing, late dinner, and water to drink seems to help them sleep - which allows me the MUCH needed sleep when I start to get angry and anxious .
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#11 of 21 Old 09-06-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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I can relate to your op, lisa72. For me it seemed like the anger just sort of showed up one day when my dd1 was about 2 1/2 and was like a mooching relative that came to visit but never left. The good news is that now the anger feels normal and is not a constant companion. Things have been steadily improving for a long while now.

Here's what worked for me in a nutshell:

First, I had to both recognize that I was angry and accept it. Then I had to accept that anger is indeed a normal, human emotion so though I can reduce the amount of anger I feel I can't permanently eliminate it-I have to be able to feel angry without feeling like a bad person because of it, kwim?

Once I examined those two things, I realized (as you probably do) that it's not the feeling of anger itself that is the problem. The problem is my reactions: the things I do and say out of anger, the thoughts I indulge in out of anger that produce more anger. I also realized that focusing on "Try Not to Yell" or Try Not to Get Angry" was a little like someone coming in and telling me "Try not to think of an elephant!"-well, of course I'm going to think of an elephant, and pretty quickly. Likewise when my goal is "Don't lose my cool" or "Don't yell" I'm actually pretty likely to yell because yelling or otherwise losing my cool is what I'm thinking about.

What has helped the most is to simply pay attention to my reactions: when they happen, why, what's going on, how do I feel physically, what am I thinking, what am I feeling besides anger, what do I want, what do I expect, etc. To pay attention meant that paying attention, not stopping a bad habit, was my goal for a time (just as often we know that the key to resolving a child's behavior problem is understanding why it's happening, so we take some time to listen and understand first rather than just trying to stop the behavior) . This was really hard, because I learned some things about myself that weren't very comfortable or flattering. But it was extremely helpful. It allowed me to really recognize what I was doing and why-and more often than not I saw that the anger came as a secondary emotion, that there was something else beneath that anger. Sometimes I couldn't see what was going on until after I'd already reacted and it was over, sometimes I saw what was going on as I was in the thick of losing my cool, sometimes I saw it in the split second before I yelled at my kids.

Soon enough seeing what was going on led to being able to pause-maybe just before I would have reacted badly, maybe as I was reacting, maybe not until after. And pausing was so important, regardless of when it happened, because in that pause was the ability to see and make the choice: yell (or react in some hurtful way), or say/do something else, or do nothing. Often I chose to do nothing rather than yell/otherwise lose my cool, because I didn't yet know what to do that would be right and doing nothing was better than doing something that would be hurtful. But as time went on it was that pause that let me see all the things I could do or think or say, whether in that one moment or in general (like get more sleep). And often just being aware of my own thoughts and feeings was enough to allow me to let the anger go.

I second the recommendation of the book "When Anger Hurts Your Kids". I would also recommend something like "Wherever You Go There You Are", "Peace Is Every Step", "Waking Up to What You Do" or other books on cultivating mindfulness within yourself. In my growth as a parent, learning to be present in the moment and aware of not just what's going on with my kids, but also of what's going on within myself has been more important than just about anything else.
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#12 of 21 Old 09-07-2005, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's wierd because we had past issues with my husbands anger,
I thought I was pretty mellow. Now he's a bit calmer and I'm the one who is more likely to freak out.

I have been reading some of his anger management books which have helped.

Sledg, yes being present is so important in this part of our lives...I'm really working on that one!

Have a happy, peaceful day

Lisa: Homeschooling Mum of ds, 8 and dd, 6
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#13 of 21 Old 09-08-2005, 01:53 AM
 
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Thanks for the resources and book suggestions everyone! I am having a hard time dealing with my anger as well and have awful anger outbursts. I'm glad to know there is some hope out there.
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#14 of 21 Old 11-01-2005, 03:14 PM
 
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Not being a good Mother ...that's my worst fear ...to repeat the treatment I got as a child.
But it is So Hard ..to create an example of what I didn't have ...

and at times like this ...I feel that I'm just not doing a good job

So I'll run to Barnes & Noble as soon as I finish this note to get those books

I need help with yelling ..

I need help with Patience ...

I simply need help

And I don't want Anger to control me and hurt my children anymore

Thank you

Unicorn
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#15 of 21 Old 11-02-2005, 10:30 PM
 
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So glad to read your threads. I am starting to grow increasingly impatient w/ my 7mth old. And my eyes are welling up just thinking about it. What really came to light, was my dh heard me raising my voice to him, as he was extrememly over tired and not wanting to nurse, sleep, be put down or etc. I need this change, or I shouldn't be a mother. For me my ds doesn't deserve this. I too thank you for your threads and am looking into the books you recommended.
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#16 of 21 Old 11-03-2005, 05:04 AM
 
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Lisa,

You may want to check out some of the parenting forums here and get advice. I was perusing the Gentle Discipline forum and found it to be really helpful. Check it out? This may be more than just an anger issue, there are other things that may help you tolerate stuff better or there are tools out there that can help. Nothing helps more than being around people who seem to go through the problems you are and seeing how they are handling it and that forum handles a lot of issues it seems. Then you can pick and choose what is right for your family.
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#17 of 21 Old 11-03-2005, 05:41 PM
 
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This is only a bandaid suggestion but it helps when the world is falling apart. There are Bach flower remedies which help take the edge off and add just that bit of patience in an otherwise volatile situation. Here is a link to help choose the best remedy for you and a bit about homeopathic remedies. Sometimes, it just helps to walk away for the minute or less it takes to go take the remedy and my emotions become less viceral.

Bach Flower Remedy Finder from Ainsworths
Welcome to Ainsworths Bach Flower Remedy Finder. This effective self-medication programme has been designed to help you choose the most important Bach ...
http://www.ainsworths.com/remedy/default.aspx - 27k - similar pages - add to favorites

Bach flower remedies
In addition you will find personalized treatment advice using our step-by-step
... Bach flower remedies use extracts from the flowering parts of plants to ...
http://www.wholehealthmd.com/refshel...25,673,00.html - 31k - similar pages - add to favorites

The real work is in recognizing what your unmet needs are and finding ways to meet them on a consistent basis. People hurt others when they themselves hurt inside. Meet your needs with as much compassion as you wish for your children and you can find a balance. But it is your responsibility to meet your own needs, not your children's to meet yours. That takes creative problem solving to find a way to have some moments of peace and self-reflection to carry you through the days filled with demands. It is possible, well,,,,most days anyway.

And then I try some Rescue Remedy or Elm or Cherry Plum. Sometimes we all take a dose. <sigh>


Best wishes, Pat

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#18 of 21 Old 11-16-2005, 04:23 PM
 
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Thanks for this post. I struggle a lot with anger, most particularly since my child was diagnosed with a disability last year I have been "at war" with reality. I like this links that were given.

On a totally rudimentary level I have to say these things make the difference in my length of fuse TOTALLY:

VIGOROUS exercise (who has the time, right? But when it is possible to carve out the time it makes a huge difference)

Sleep. Ever get a chance to steal a nap? TAKE IT! no guilt - your kids will propser from it inthe end

Also - hateful vigorous poundings of couch with wiffle ball bat (out of sight of kids of course) for ten minutes - total release - can have postive effect for a whole day.

Good luck to all of us!
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#19 of 21 Old 11-16-2005, 09:42 PM
 
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Thank you all for your support and the advice on the book Mindful Parenting.

Since I got it I have being reading it slowly so I have time to meditate about it throughout my day and it has help me tremendously.

One of my kids was diagnosed with Sensory Integration when he was two years old ..now he's five and still strugling with it , so I know what it feels to have a child that is .... special, but more so ... Unique and amazingly Wonderful.

Reality is hard to accept ... but don't beat yourself, it wasn't your fault, it was meant to be ..and out there there is so much help and support

Become your child's advocate

and by all means ...go and get That Book

I have also gotten Bach Flowers ..they are great as well ( wish I can give it to my kids sometimes ! )

Thanks again

Unicorn
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#20 of 21 Old 11-17-2005, 10:45 AM
 
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So much of my anger, I now realize, was due to me not liking where I was in my life. I also told myself I couldn't make any changes, that I was stuck. So, rather than be depressed as I was in my teens, I was angry in my 20s. I have only come out of it in my 30s.

I realized I have control over what happens to me and I have control over my responses. I try not to react but to respond, if that makes sense. I still have occasional moments when I feel like I'm being invaded by uncontrollable anger but those moments are fewer and fewer.

I remember back to those times. I remember feeling, in the moment it was happening, "I can't stop this. It's taking over." I could hear myself yelling. I could see myself stomping off and slamming doors. It was like I was outside myself. Such a strange feeling. But at least it was a start. I could *recognize* what was happening and slowly I learned my triggers and dealt with them.

It's tough with little ones, I know. I think part of what has helped me was my daughter getting older and simply growing older myself. I also addressed problems in my marriage and relationships. It was a struggle I'm glad I experienced because I don't want to be that angry person again.

Note: anger is useful, actually. I guess I should clarify that the type of anger I'm talking about is the one that is damaging and unwarranted. Not talking about righteous anger about injustices or anything like that. It's not a totally "wrong" or "bad" emotion. It is harmful, however, when your stress and unhappiness manifests in anger.
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#21 of 21 Old 11-17-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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Fwiw, we do use homeopathy with our son and so do many of our friends.

Pat

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